Another week, Another load of albums out of the gate to ring in March.
Album of The Week: Ceremony- Zoo (Matador)
Certainly Matador's signing follow up to Fucked Up, Ceremony's first for the label "Zoo" more than justifies why Ceremony are the best of the (former) Bridge Nine bunch, kicking off with the throbbing riff and pounding drums of album opener "Hysteria" which leads with the guitar attack of the Bronx before they wasted everyone's time being "Mariachi" and is the album's true punk sing along. Zoo is certainly not as genre pushing as Ceremony's masterpiece "Rohnert Park" and Ceremony are certainly beginning to show their rock n roll aspirations over their past incarnation of power violence on the aptly title "violence violence" but it's all apart of the journey. Producer John Goodmanson polishes up the sound in a way that allows it to be both accessible and expansion, but "Zoo" does not lose much of the intensity of the band's back catalogue, it merely develops past the insular sensibility of "Rohnert Park" wearing it's hidden pop aspirations of it's sleeve. A solid introduction to a brand new age.
In other releases... Bruce Springsteen starts to show his age on the quite frankly painfully plodding new album "Wrecking Ball" A Solid opener (the single "We Take Care Of Our Own") leaps into Springsteen's weakest release for a long time, with the white collar "Easy Money" never really ringing anywhere near the social middle american stories Bruce has created in the past. While "Shackled & Drawn" belongs squarely on a white trash Country Music Station... Has Springsteen lost his everyman appeal, well not exactly... but there are several misteps on this record which sound more like a millionare condescending his own audience in the pursuit of saving up for another rainy day. (3)
Proving there's more to Scranton, PA than just Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute, The Menzinger's third studio album "Oh The Impossible Past" is a welcome signing to the frankly stale Epitaph. A Mid-Tempo Punk Rock Slow Burner which literally glows with melodies and bleeds a timeless love of passionate, dedicated rock n roll delivery. (8)